Heat Stress (Warnings, Signs, Treatment)
We all love the warm weather season, but working in extreme heat outdoors and indoors can have
serious dangers involved. It is a necessity to keep workers safe and aware of heat stress. Overheating on
the job can lead to multiple injuries and even death.
Warning Signs of Heat Stress
There are many different symptoms that are related to heat stress. One can feel the body start to
profusely sweat and become clammy. You may start to feel dizzy, too-- and all of these symptoms may
occur without your awareness, which could lead you to faint and/or collapse. These symptoms may also
come with a lack of concentration, fogginess in thought, and you may feel unable to communicate
Very serious cases of heat stress can lead to stroke, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and / or
heat rashes. These are all very serious and require urgent medical attention to avoid further damaging
If any of these heat stress symptoms are present, it is essential to act quickly and properly. Alert a
colleague immediately. If you see someone else in duress, help the individual move to a shaded cool
area and give them water. Please seek medical attention if condition worsens.
Factors that Cause Heat Stress
Here are some things to always consider when working at a jobsite or indoors:
Extreme temperatures and high humidity
Not drinking enough fluids
Prolonged exposure to the sun
Limited air flow
Have a Proper Prevention Plan
In order to combat heat stress, you need to have a proper plan. A good plan can save the lives of your
workers or even yourself.
Water, Rest, and Shade should be readily available to workers. If necessary, modify your work schedule
or that of others to avoid very high temperatures. You should also make sure you train your employees
(and yourself) to know the Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stress.